Indian-American candidate releases 4,000 e-mails to debunk affair slur

Holding a commanding double-digit lead over her Democratic rival Vincent Sheheen, a state senator, Haley, who is being billed as America's new rising political star, said she was releasing her private correspondence as part of transparency commitment.

If elected, Haley would be the first Indian-American woman and the second Indian-American to become the governor of a US state after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. One of the e-mails suggested she brushed aside her father-in-law's urging to get a lawyer involved in the days after blogger Will Folks and another man claimed to have had physical relationships with the married mother of two.

Haley, born in a Sikh family, denied that she was ever unfaithful to her husband, Michael, and neither men who made the claims provided proof.  Haley then went off to win the Republican primary with a thumping majority in a runoff.

Haley's campaign released more than 4,000 emails running into some 10,000 sheets of her tenure in the local House of Representatives in response to local media queries of her performance in the South Carolina legislature.

Although releasing the e-mails is voluntary, Haley has made transparency the hallmark of her campaign. The e-mails Haley released are dated between April 1 and July 26 and show very little personal communication.

The message to her father-in-law Bill Haley was one of the only messages that Haley responded to personally. In a brief message June 3, she told him to hold off on any legal intervention. At that time, the primary was less than a week away.

"The goal is to survive until election day and then deal with the mud," Haley wrote. She has consistently said publicly that she would not allow the allegations to be a distraction to her campaign.

"Nikk, we are all proud of you so keep on fighting the sob's. I do think it's time for outside muscle ... if not on your behalf, then on mine and Mom's," Bill Haley wrote. Meanwhile, Haley continues to have considerable lead over Sheheen with the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters showing her with 49 percent support to her rival's 35 percent. Four percent like another candidate in the race, and 12 percent remain undecided.

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